Setting Up Mac as a Web FileServer?

KBS756

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 27, 2009
548
14
Hi,
I don't think OS X has this functionality built in but if I were to want to set up a Mac in my home as a file server where I could drop off files and access certain folders on it from anywhere through the internet and not just local network, how would I go about doing it?

Any recommended software? and I assume a Static IP will absolutely be required to manage to do this.

To be clear I want to be able to receive files and also lock the submissions via a username and pass, and I also want to allow others who I give permission to drop off files on this Mac.

Considering buying an iMac and then a Thunderbolt Raid5 enclosure to do this.

Any advice or direction to the appropriate thread would be greatly appreciated thanks!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,067
34,154
Boston
I'd say get yourself a NAS that offers cloud syncing.

Generally speaking its quite difficult opening up your home network to the internet and getting a static IP from your ISP is not something that may be allowed.
 

KBS756

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 27, 2009
548
14
I'd say get yourself a NAS that offers cloud syncing.

Generally speaking its quite difficult opening up your home network to the internet and getting a static IP from your ISP is not something that may be allowed.
Correction on that I meant to say I would be doing it from my office and I can get a static IP for $20 a month there

Thx again for the advice ... And any suggestions if I do go the NAS route?
 

jsavvy

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2011
127
101
Do you have a desktop laying around? If so, I'd use that instead of buying something new and run Owncloud on it. Otherwise a NAS is good option.
 

KBS756

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 27, 2009
548
14
Thanks ... again for the advice... Would be running a Synology 8 Bay NAS in Raid 6 be a good idea?
 

Geeky Chimp

macrumors regular
Jun 3, 2015
132
59
Going back to your original post you were looking for a Mac Based Web/File Server; OS X Server (from the Mac App Store) allows you to run your Mac as a File Server and a Web Server. If you want to access your Files over the Internet you can use WebDAV to do this. You would need a Static IP.
Hope that helps.
 

satcomer

macrumors 604
Feb 19, 2008
7,020
1,198
The Finger Lakes Region
Hi,
I don't think OS X has this functionality built in but if I were to want to set up a Mac in my home as a file server where I could drop off files and access certain folders on it from anywhere through the internet and not just local network, how would I go about doing it?

Any recommended software? and I assume a Static IP will absolutely be required to manage to do this.

To be clear I want to be able to receive files and also lock the submissions via a username and pass, and I also want to allow others who I give permission to drop off files on this Mac.

Considering buying an iMac and then a Thunderbolt Raid5 enclosure to do this.

Any advice or direction to the appropriate thread would be greatly appreciated thanks!
It is against many ISPs to run a web sever on home accounts! You will need to run a business account with a static IP run a web sever from home.

Now if you want to run a wiki server for all your computers that is still good to do so.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,749
3,600
and I assume a Static IP will absolutely be required to manage to do this.
...further to other comments about Static IP and whether or not your ISP allows this:

One thing to remember is that many home internet connections use ADSL. The "A" stands for asymmetric, which means that the download speed is several times faster than the upload speed. This makes sense for most domestic uses (surfing the web, streaming video etc.) but isn't ideal for running servers: if you want to access a file on your home server from somewhere else then you'll be limited by the upload speed of your home connection.

Overall, feel free to try but, if you need to ask, you're probably better off using a cloud service like DropBox, Google Drive or iCloud.
 

jsavvy

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2011
127
101
One thing to remember is that many home internet connections use ADSL. The "A" stands for asymmetric, which means that the download speed is several times faster than the upload speed. This makes sense for most domestic uses (surfing the web, streaming video etc.) but isn't ideal for running servers: if you want to access a file on your home server from somewhere else then you'll be limited by the upload speed of your home connection.
The upload speed is definitely something to consider, but it probably will not be a big deal if one is using it to access documents rather than media. Documents and PDFs aren't (usually) big enough to notice the poor upload speed, but large photos and videos will be. I run my own server with the worst upload speed and it works flawlessly for documents and syncing.
 
Last edited:

kiwipeso1

Suspended
Sep 17, 2001
646
167
Wellington, New Zealand
Hi,
I don't think OS X has this functionality built in but if I were to want to set up a Mac in my home as a file server where I could drop off files and access certain folders on it from anywhere through the internet and not just local network, how would I go about doing it?

Any recommended software? and I assume a Static IP will absolutely be required to manage to do this.

To be clear I want to be able to receive files and also lock the submissions via a username and pass, and I also want to allow others who I give permission to drop off files on this Mac.

Considering buying an iMac and then a Thunderbolt Raid5 enclosure to do this.

Any advice or direction to the appropriate thread would be greatly appreciated thanks!
Get the following :
OS X server from the mac app store.
Router, 1. setup with Static WAN IP address from your ISP.
2. setup with Static LAN IP address to your mac (it should direct all major services such as web, mail & ftp to your mac)

Setup those Server services to run from your mac, with energy saver preferences set to wake on lan access.
You will probably want to use at least mail, ftp & web (or wiki) services.
Then setup the users on the user accounts of both the mac and the network services accounts

Simple as that.
 

IHelpId10t5

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2014
480
338
Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive. Any of these will be far more reliable, less expensive, have greater application support, and will be more secure than anything you can build at the house. You are reinventing the wheel when cloud providers have invested billions to perfect file sharing.
 

kiwipeso1

Suspended
Sep 17, 2001
646
167
Wellington, New Zealand
Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive. Any of these will be far more reliable, less expensive, have greater application support, and will be more secure than anything you can build at the house. You are reinventing the wheel when cloud providers have invested billions to perfect file sharing.
Potentially more liable to overshare, more expensive long term and locked to a cloud provider. As for the laughable claim of security, you need to question if your username is self-applicable.
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
1,482
487
on the land line mr. smith.
If it were me....I would not get a Mac (or PC) server to host files for internet access with others.

I would use a cloud service as others have suggested, or, if that does not seem realistic (file size/data volume/security concerns, etc), then I would look very hard a Synology box. There are many NAS options out there, but Synology has two features you mentioned wanting, that many others do not have:

Cloud based sync feature including client software option
• No need for static IP; use Quick Connect or their own DDNS service
• Native AFP support better Mac user experience


Add all the other features, and low overall cost compared to a dedicated Mac + attached storage, seems a no brainer.

Either way, don't forget backups. No matter the device or platform, any data you can't live without must be backed up, and preferably in more than one location.
 
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hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
1,482
487
on the land line mr. smith.
For anybody following along...

Drobo has been a long time favorite prosumer/smb favorite for both attached storage and NAS. They have recently added a cloud based access service for some new models, along with app/services to play catch up with Synology and others.

Drobos are very easy to setup and manage, and if their cloud access is equally easy and user friendly, could be a good choice. No static IP, no firewall issues, and integrated encryption all look very tempting.
 
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